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Thread: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

  
  1. #31
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    Isn't Dallas Keuchel amazing? At home he is down right astounding. Can you imagine pitching in a game and giving up just 3 runs and it's considered a sub par outing? That's exactly what happened last Sunday in the Astros series finale in Milwaukee when Houston lost the game 3-2. If you go at least 5 innings and give up 3 runs or less it's considered a quality start. Actually, Keuchel went 5-2/3 giving up 6 hits and 3 runs. Me and a host of other wrote about Keuchel's rough outing? Now, I'd have to say that Keuchel has been the most snake bit starter on the Astros staff the past 2 couple of years because he's either been betrayed by a porous bullpen or didn't get any run support. For the whole damn game last night I thought one or both of these maladies would reach up and bit Keuchel in the behind. After a Houston's offense scored one run in the top of the 1st on an RBI single by Colby Rasmus scoring George Springer to take an early lead I couldn't help feeling disaster was about to strike. Especially after Houston blew an opportunity to blow open the game in that 1st inning. After Rasmus' single the Astros had men on 1st and 2nd with one out. Tyler White walked to load the bases but the rug got yanked out of Keuchel's early run support when Evan Gattis struck out looking and Carlos Gomez grounded out to end the inning. Houston had a golden opportunity to build on their lead when the Astros began the 2nd inning with a walk, a single and another walk to load the bases with no outs. The Astros hitting choked again as Springer struck out and Carlos Correa grounded into an inning ending double play. If I'm Keuchel I'm more than a little frustrated by now. At minimum Houston should have been up 3-0 because a couple of sac flies and 2 more runs could have been added. But NOOOOOOOOOOOO.
    The Astros put the first two men on in the 3rd on a Rasmus single and another White walk but again Detroit wriggled out of a jam with the help of another inning ending double play. Carlos Gomez stranded a small army of potential runs in the 1st and 3rd innings. George Springer had his share of futility with runners in scoring position in the 2nd and 4th innings. In the first 4 innings Houston had runners on 3rd and didn't score one run. By now Keuchel has to be thinking WTF, dudes! But he kept on being his usual steady self. In 2015 he went 16-0 pitching at the Juice Box but it was just so ominous after so many blown opportunities to score that the game would get out of hand at some point. All the frustration didn't seem to affect Keuchel at all as he kept chugging along. He was spotting almost all his pitches perfectly and when he missed it was out of the strike zone or off the plate. He just didn't leave anything for the Tigers to hit. Ground ball after ground ball with an occasional strike out Keuchel just kept rolling along. He was never in any serious trouble for the entirety of the 8 innings he pitched. Luke Gregerson came on in the 9th and I just knew if the game was going to be lost the stage was set for another bullpen meltdown. But, lo and behold, the meltdown never came, Gregerson retired the side in order on a ground out and 2 fly balls to center to preserve a brilliant 1-0 shutout of the ever dangerous Detroit Tigers. Dallas Keuchel's final line score was 0 runs on 5 hits, a walk and 4 K's and he lowered his ERA to 2.18. The beards were out as "Keuchel's Korner" was there to cheer their hero on and he did not disappoint running his consecutive win streak at MM Park to 17 straight.
    Colby Rasmus continues to produce in the clean up spot. I don't know what epiphany he experienced this off season but I hope this the new and improved Colby who doesn't strike out much and he puts the ball in play with power. Maybe it was the contract extension the Astros gave him in the offseason. It sure makes a difference when you feel wanted and appreciated. You go Colby!
    Tyler White has cooled off some as his BA is coming back down to earth but he's still hitting a very healthy .412 through the first two weeks of the season. He went 0-2 with 2 walks last night and that is what I love about what White looked to be bringing to the table from the minors. A guy who made contact and didn't strike out much. Just what this lineup doctor ordered after 4 years of leading the league in K's as a team. The Astros still have issues with strikeout thanks mostly to George Springer, Jason Castro and Carlos Gomez. Gomez is embarrassing to watch as he often swings so hard he falls down on his follow through and loses his helmet. Gomez is ridiculously out of control, looking more like a pee-wee leaguer instead of at big leaguer.

    In the "what the hell" department. I don't understand why we always have players who struggle as Astros and they go on to become All Stars and Hall of Famers somewhere else. The Houston franchise is rife with this head scratching trend. Recent case in point, JD Martinez who struggled to find his ass with both hands much less hit a baseball with any consistency. He goes to Detroit and he becomes an All Star. He is currently hitting a robust .412 with 3 doubles and a HR with 5 BB's and 5 K's. He's been a different player since leaving Houston. Or how about DeLino DeShields, Jr? He's hitting .289 and he finished 7th in Rookie of the Year voting in 2015 while with the Rangers. He couldn't crack the lineup in Houston. At Texas he's hitting leadoff for the Rangers. Maybe the most annoying player is Chris Carter. In the last 3 years prior to 2016 Carter did not record a BA above the Mendoza Line. He did have a nice run for Houston in last September and the playoffs and he did have a great month of September for Houston in 2014 but basically he couldn't hit a breaking ball and set MLB records for K's in a season in 2013. Now in Milwaukee, after Houston got tired of waiting for Carter to find some modicum of consistency did not offer him a contract when he became a free agent at the end of the 2015 season, Carter is hitting .300 after the first week and half of the season. He is still striking out a lot but he's got two less than George Springer at this point. It is uncanny how this phenomenon keeps rolling on and on.

    Bad news on the Lance McCullers front. He is experiencing soreness after he pitches during his rehab a AA Corpus Christi. He was supposed to pitch today but after his experienced pain in his shoulder after his last start the Astros decided he would get some extra rest. He feels fine every day including days he pitches but it's the extra pain and soreness the day after he pitches that has the Astros concerned. They have been extremely cautious with him during his rehab because they are concerned for his long term health. They don't want to do something that will shorten his career as has happened to a lot of other pitchers around the league in the past. Houston could sure use him so I'm proud of the management for being patient because Houston's F Troop, the back end of their starting rotation, Fiers, Feldman and Fister have struggled to this point for a combined record of 1-3 to date. It would be very tempting to rush McCullers back but I'm glad they aren't doing that.

    Collin McHugh goes tonight for Houston as he is coming a nice rebound from his disastrous 1st start in NY against the Yankees with a nice 8-2 win over KC in the series opener this past Monday. As a matter of fact, it is the only game Houston won in that series. Tonight he takes the hill against Detroit who will send Justin Verlander out to face the Astros. This isn't going to be a case of the irresistible force against the immovable object as the Astros have been cold as ice in the run scoring department. In their last 4 games they have scored 2, 2, 2 and 1 runs and they have gone 1-3 in those games. Verlander hasn't been all that either as he's begun 2016 0-1 in two starts allowing 13 hits and 10 ERs in 10.1 innings of work. The question will be who will find themselves tonight? Will the Houston offense wake up and take advantage of a pitcher who has been struggling or will Verlander find his groove and shut down the anemic Astros bats? It should be a good, albeit frustrating, game to watch.

  2. #32
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    The recurring theme of the first 12 games in this season is Houston can't help but get in their own way. Even in their wins there have been runs left on the table but they just keep killing themselves with poor base running, poor situational hitting and just overall spotty play. Houston lost to Detroit last night by a score of 5-3 after jumping on Justin Verlander for 3 runs in the 1st inning. The problem was they didn't score another run the rest of the game. Collin McHugh was okay going 5.1 innings giving up 4 runs on 10 hits, the most damaging hit came from C Jarrod Saltalamacchia who launched a 2 run HR in the 6th inning that pretty much ended McHugh's night. The Tigers got an insurance run in the 9th off Josh Fields but it didn't matter because Houston hasn't got an ounce of clutch in them to this point. If not for two stellar performances by Dallas Keuchel Houston wouldn't have the 4 wins they have on the season. The one outing Keuchel's had in his 3 starts that would be considered average Houston lost 3-2. At their current record of 4-8 it would take a full week to just get to .500 but Houston isn't showing the spark to win like that. Last night there were 4 players in the lineup with sub .200 batting averages. Shades of 2015 only without the home run pop. Last season Houston pretty much lived and died with the home run. Last night Houston had base runners in every inning except the 2nd, 8th and 9th. By the 8th and 9th I really think Houston had thrown in the towel realizing that resistance to the inevitable Tigers win was futile. Too bad.

  3. #33
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    This could be the most important day of the year when it's looked back upon down the road. Of course I'm referring to the Astros win today over the Detroit Tigers. It is the best 5-4 win Houston has had in a while because it stems the tide of losing that the Astros have been on since Day 2 of the 2016 season. It marks their first series win this season and it's the first time you can really say the team was clutch when it had to be. The starting pitching wasn't great outside of Dallas Keuchel's effort on Friday night. It cost Collin McHugh a victory but fortunately the Astros offense scored just enough to get Mike Fiers the win today.
    Fiers line score was real similar to McHugh's as he gave up 7 hits, allowed 4 runs with 5 K's and no walks. The killer for Fiers who lasted 1/3 of an inning longer than McHugh, 5-2/3, was the 3 long balls he gave up. Really it the first to Jarrod Saltamacchia in the 4th didn't mean much but add the 2 run shot in the 5th by Ian Kinsler and the solo shot in the 6th, which ended Fiers' day, made things interesting. In another ah-oh situation the Astros held up like they did on Friday night. Tony Sipp, Pat Neshak, Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson combined to shut out the Tigers for the final 3-1/3 innings. Giles is notable because he has struggled so far this season his scoreless 8th inning was more like the fireball throwing pitcher they signed this off season. Gregerson continues to be money and make AJ Hinch look like he knows what he's doing naming him to be the closer coming out of spring training.
    On the Astros website yesterday they mentioned that the one bright spot in the loss to Detroit was the apparent breakout of an extended slump by George Springer who went 3-4 with a HR Saturday night. It seems like I can scratch the "apparent" part of his breakout. Today he went 2-4 with another HR today as he and Jose Altuve both homered. Altuve led the Astros with 3 RBI's today and he's back over .300 hitting since he started out the season slowly. Another guy who has been slumping at the plate in recent games is Carlos Correa and Hinch gave him the day off which will turn into 2 days off as Houston will be off tomorrow as the travel up I-45 to take on the Rangers beginning Tuesday.
    The weekend ends well and despite at 3-4 record for the week it ends on high note which is a first for this young season.

  4. #34
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    Even on an off day the Astros managed to make some news. Jose Altuve was named co-Player of the Week in the AL yesterday after a huge week last week. Altuve struggled some in the first week of the season but he was his old awesome self in Week 2. It is the first time ever that Astros have been named POTW in back to back weeks to begin the season. Tyler White made his major league debut in Week 1 and had one of the most amazing first week as a big leaguer ever earning POTW honors.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...er-of-the-week


    If you look at the standings the Astros are not in terrible shape despite their slow start to the season. It's not like anyone else is tearing up the league. Houston begins a 3 game series with Texas tonight and if all goes well we could actually end up in first place with a .500 record. Sounds pretty lame right? I figured, but it is only the 3rd week of the season and there is a lot of baseball left so let's hope the past two weeks have been the exception rather than the rule.


    W L PCT GB
    Texas 7 6 0.538 -
    LA
    Angels
    6 7 0.462 1
    Oakland 6 7 0.462 1
    Seattle 5 7 0.417 1.5
    Houston 5 8 0.385 2

    Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the first artificial turf used in pro sports and it was right down the road in Houston at the historic Astrodome.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...ry-in-baseball

    Tonight Houston sends Scott Feldman (0-1, 3.48 ERA) to the hill in Arlington to face the Rangers. Texas counters with Derek Holland (1-0, 2.31 ERA). Game time is 7:10 PM on Root Sports for the Astros broadcast and Fox Sports Southwest for the Rangers broadcast.

  5. #35
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    The ESPN highlight will be a over-the-head-as-he's-running-toward-center-field catch by Carlos Correa in the 7th inning of the Astros-Rangers game last night but what will be missed is the routine ground ball in the first inning that Correa booted instead of recording the 2nd out of the inning that opened the flood gates for the Rangers who ended up sending 8 men to the plate in the first scoring 3 runs, only 2 earned, which included a 2 run HR by Prince Fielder with the man Correa allowed on base to begin the game. Starter Scott Feldman ended up throwing 41 pitches in the inning and he barely made it through 5 innings throwing 105 pitches. Josh Fields came on in the sixth and never retired a batter but he gave up 2 runs on 4 hits with no walks and no K's. BTW, he faced only 4 batters in the inning. To begin the inning Houston trailed Texas 4-2 but by the time the inning was over it was 6-2 and the way Houston has been going as far this season that is what is known as an insurmountable lead. Newcomer Chris Devenski came on in relief of Fields and held the Rangers to just the 2 runs Fields allowed but in the seventh after Houston closed the gap to 6-4 on back-to-back jacks by Jose Altuve and George Springer Devenski gave up an insurance run to the Rangers on a Mitch Mooreland HR with 1 out in the inning. Houston got an oh-by-the-way run in the 9th on a ground out by Altuve that scored Colby Rasmus who walked, stole 2nd base and advanced to 3rd on a fly ball to center. That was the best Houston could do. It's the same old bug-a-boo that has killed Houston since the 2nd day of the season, poor pitching from the starters and the bullpen and lack of ability to hit with runners in scoring position. Last night Houston was 2-10 with runners in scoring position. Since opening day Houston has had only 5 quality starts out of 14 games played with 2 of them recorded by Dallas Keuchel. The Astros are 27th in of all of baseball in team ERA at 4.98 they are 28th in BA with RISP at .184. It's not hard to see why Houston is 5-9 at this point. For most of 2015 the starting pitching was well above average with Keuchel and McHugh leading the staff. So far this season only Keuchel is holding his end up in the starting rotation. His 2.18 ERA paces the team but the rest of the starters stink. The other four starters in descending order of ERA's are Scott Feldman (0-2) 4.11 ERA, Collin McHugh (1-2) 6.39 ERA, Mike Fiers (1-1) 6.48 ERA and Doug Fister (1-1) 7.59 ERA. The relievers aren't much better. Trust me on this, without going through all their stats they have a collective ERA of 5.00 but it's really 3 guys who can't hold anyone. Tony Sipp (5.79 ERA), Ken Giles (7.94 ERA) and Josh Fields (11.37 ERA) are the main culprits here. Michael Feliz made four appearances but his last one was a disaster and got him sent down to AAA but his 12.46 ERA still counts against the team numbers. The Astros brought up Chris Devenski to replace Feliz and he's been quite good. The run he allowed last night is the first he's given up in 4 appearances and 8.1 innings of work. 3 of those innings came last night. It looks like Houston has another young arm for long relief in their bullpen now.

    Houston sends Doug Fister to the hill tonight to face Texas' Cole Hamels (2-0, 2.95 ERA). Run support could be a little hard to come by for Houston so Fister needs to up his game for Houston to have a chance.

    Last night Texas starting pitcher Derek Holland was the first lefty starting pitcher Houston has face this season. As a result Jake Marisnick got the start over Colby Rasmus and Marwin Gonzalez got the start over Luis Valbuena.

    The Astros are encouraged by a bullpen session off a mound yesterday by Lance McCullers. The real test will be if he feels pain or extra soreness in his right shoulder today.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...ullpen-session

    AJ Hinch had a big honor bestowed upon him on Tuesday when the PAC 12 named him to the PAC 12 All Century Team. Hinch was a standout catcher from 1992 to 1996 at Stanford.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...l-century-team

    It's hard to imagine but Jose Altuve may have made an adjustment to his swing that will make him even more effective at the plate. In the Astros postgame show on Root Sports after last night's loss the studio crew of Kevin Eschenfelder and Mike Stanton along with Art Howe talked about how Altuve has improved his posture at the plate and noted how he no longer lunges at pitches on the outside half of the plate. The credit his new more balanced stance and swing that allowed Altuve to hit an opposite field HR in the game earlier in the evening. Altuve won the AL batting title in 2014 and came in 2nd in the AL in batting last season. It's hard to imagine he's made adjustments that have made him a better hitter!

    George Springer has definitely broken out of his early slump. Last night he went 2-5 with a HR. It's the 3rd multi-hit game in a row for Springer who broke out of his slump against Detroit last weekend.

    2015 2nd pick in the MLB draft Alex Bregman was a good player coming out of LSU but nobody could have foreseen him catching on fire in AA Corpus Christi the way he has. In the link below MLB.com writer Jonathan Mayo give his top 10 minor league duos by franchise. Coming in at number 6 in a tie with a duo with the Brewers Bregman and P Francis Martes are representing for the Astros organization early in this season. Bregman looked like a lost little lamb in spring training and his sub .100 BA in Florida was truly indicative of his performance in his first big league spring training. Clearly Bregman wasn't ready for big league pitching but he's taken any frustration from big league camp out on AA pitching so far.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...-prospect-duos

  6. #36
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    I am just disgusted with the Astros right now. The team got a superior performance from starter Doug Fister and the Astros had more than an ample opportunity to get to Cole Hamels last night but absolutely stupid base running and piss poor hitting with runners in scoring position sank any chance the Astros could beat the Rangers. They have now dropped the first two games of the series which means they have lost the series when they had the chance to actually take over the division lead. Houston was 1-12 with runners in scoring position and their base running has gotten to the point of ridiculousness. The Astros had the bases loaded with nobody out in the top of the 2nd and got nothing. In fact poor base running resulted in a weird double play. With nobody out and the bases loaded Marwin Gonzalez hit a fly ball to right field but it was too shallow for Colby Rasmus to score from 3rd. He faked going down the line to draw the throw and for some reason Carlos Gomez, who was on 1st came off the base and was nearly half way to 2nd when the catcher noticed Gomez had gotten too far off the bag and he threw behind Gomez to the first baseman. That was it, Gomez was meat. He was caught in no man's land and he tried to keep the attention focused on him so Rasmus could score from 3rd. The Rangers were alert for than and Rasmus was gunned down at home on a really weird F9-2-4-2 double play that stemmed for some stupid base running by Gomez. The thing that really aggravates me about him is wouldn't own his mistake. Check out this excerpt from Astros.com -

    "I looked at the mark, and I'm not even halfway," Gomez said. "I'm more toward first base. We see Colby take off, and he [stopped], and we had to stop, too. They take advantage and throw it to first and got me. They played well. It's nobody's fault."

    Nobody's fault? Seriously? I have been saying for a long time I don't like Gomez and I like him even less now. Here's the whole article and it sounds like AJ Hinch is getting pissed off about the way the Astros are playing stupid baseball and have been since day one. If I'm AJ Hinch I bench Gomez. He's not hitting anyway and he doesn't give you anything in the field that Jake Marisnick can't do, maybe even better. Marisnick isn't a narcissistic putz like Gomez either. To me, the Astros team chemistry has gone south since he came to Houston last August. I'm sick of this guy.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...tly-for-astros

  7. #37
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    Quote Originally Posted by eagle eye View Post
    I am just disgusted with the Astros right now. The team got a superior performance from starter Doug Fister and the Astros had more than an ample opportunity to get to Cole Hamels last night but absolutely stupid base running and piss poor hitting with runners in scoring position sank any chance the Astros could beat the Rangers. They have now dropped the first two games of the series which means they have lost the series when they had the chance to actually take over the division lead. Houston was 1-12 with runners in scoring position and their base running has gotten to the point of ridiculousness. The Astros had the bases loaded with nobody out in the top of the 2nd and got nothing. In fact poor base running resulted in a weird double play. With nobody out and the bases loaded Marwin Gonzalez hit a fly ball to right field but it was too shallow for Colby Rasmus to score from 3rd. He faked going down the line to draw the throw and for some reason Carlos Gomez, who was on 1st came off the base and was nearly half way to 2nd when the catcher noticed Gomez had gotten too far off the bag and he threw behind Gomez to the first baseman. That was it, Gomez was meat. He was caught in no man's land and he tried to keep the attention focused on him so Rasmus could score from 3rd. The Rangers were alert for than and Rasmus was gunned down at home on a really weird F9-2-4-2 double play that stemmed for some stupid base running by Gomez. The thing that really aggravates me about him is wouldn't own his mistake. Check out this excerpt from Astros.com -

    "I looked at the mark, and I'm not even halfway," Gomez said. "I'm more toward first base. We see Colby take off, and he [stopped], and we had to stop, too. They take advantage and throw it to first and got me. They played well. It's nobody's fault."

    Nobody's fault? Seriously? I have been saying for a long time I don't like Gomez and I like him even less now. Here's the whole article and it sounds like AJ Hinch is getting pissed off about the way the Astros are playing stupid baseball and have been since day one. If I'm AJ Hinch I bench Gomez. He's not hitting anyway and he doesn't give you anything in the field that Jake Marisnick can't do, maybe even better. Marisnick isn't a narcissistic putz like Gomez either. To me, the Astros team chemistry has gone south since he came to Houston last August. I'm sick of this guy.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...tly-for-astros

    Gomez sucks! Cut him. Tucker deserves to be playing. I like Marisnick, but he can't hit.

  8. #38
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    The Astros week from hell is finally over. The thing that I feared when Houston started the season out so slowly in that first week came true. The Astros went through a really difficult stretch of games against the Royal, Tigers, Rangers and Red Sox and it wasn't pretty. Yes, Houston did get their first series win of the season against Detroit in the weekend series a week ago but it came as small solace when Houston lost for the week overall 3-4. Then came Arlington and the stupid Rangers pulled out the brooms and swept Houston even pounding Dallas Keuchel into submission in the series finale. Next came Boston, a team that was struggling almost as much as Houston and we couldn't win but one game against them over the weekend. So we go a sad 1-5 for the week and take complete control of the cellar in the AL West now a full four games behind league leading Oakland (?) and seven games under .500. Do you realize that Houston would have to go on a seven game winning streak just to get to .500? The odds of that are slim and none considering the starting pitching has been horrible. The biggest disappointment has been Collin McHugh whose 1-3 record has been worse than it looks because he routinely puts Houston in a hole from the git-go. You can't leave out the back end of the rotation, the F Troop, of Fiers, Feldman and Fister. In order their ERA's are 5.73, 4.58 and 5.94 respectively to go along with McHugh's repulsive 7.56 ERA. It would be nice if Houston starters got some run support, hell even Keuchel would be 3-1 with just a little more run support in a loss at Milwaukee. There's nothing that could be done for Keuchel against the Rangers when he gave up about a million hits but no walks to the Rangers, he just didn't have it that night. It's inexplicable because in his previous outing Keuchel was his old self giving up 5 hits and no walks in a terrific 8 innings in a 1-0 win over Detroit. Go figure. The only bright spot has been Colby Rasmus who has been the most dangerous hitter in the Astros lineup so far. Did you know that besides hitting a very healthy .293 Rasmus' OBP is a whopping .440 because he is being selective at the plate and walking a lot more. His slugging percent is .707. Over the weekend Colby Jacks accounted for 7 runs including a clutch 2 out, 2 strike grand slam that broke the game open on Saturday afternoon on the way to a Houston 8-3 win and a 2 run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 5 before finally losing in 12 innings 7-5.
    Last night's game was a microcosm of what's been wrong with Houston so far this season. Poor starting pitching, Scott Feldman gave up 5 runs in 4.1 innings, poor fielding Carlos Correa win 2 errors and Jose Altuve with an error to go along with untimely hitting, if you don't count Rasmus ninth inning heroics. Houston was 2-13 with RISP and they stranded 12 base runners total for the game. The Astros as a team struck out 15 times, nearly 1/3 of their total of 47 ABs in the game. Sad. The last element was poor bullpen work by Ken Giles who has to be the biggest free agent bust for Jeff Luhnow since coming to Houston. Giles has been purely awful for most of the time he's been in Houston. Carlos Gomez is running a close second. For all his bluster and bravado Gomez isn't, or at least hasn't been, the All Star caliber player he was 2 years ago. He's just been a cocky, butt-head who isn't producing squat. Hopefully, Houston will start turning things around soon because they are a sad team to watch right now which is disappointing because of the high expectations we, or I, had coming into the season.

    After the game last night Houston optioned Jake Marisnick to AAA and called up Michael Feliz to bolster the bullpen. Chris Devenski has been a true bright spot in the bullpen so far but after he went 3+ innings last night Houston needed another arm and Marisnick was the odd man out. It's really too bad they couldn't have sent Gomez to Fresno instead. Did I mention I really don't like Gomez?

    Just some notes from the Astros clubhouse courtesy of Astros.com including an update of Lance McCullers status.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/174270262/

  9. #39
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    The Astros have done something no other MLB team has ever done since Player of the Week awards were instituted in 1974--they have won the award in the first 3 weeks of the season. Rookie Tyler White won the award to begin the season, Jose Altuve followed with a POTW award in Week 2 and now, for Week 3 Colby Rasmus has won the award. Rasmus celebrated his award by going 0-4 with 2 K's in another Astros loss in Seattle last night. Same ol' same ol' with less than stellar pitching and untimely hitting sank the Astros for the 14th time in 20 games. You see the irony here? Dead last in the AL West, 8 games under .500 with 3 consecutive POTW awards to begin the season. Don't you hear the Twilight Zone theme music playing? I do. Rasmus has been a constant so far this season and his consistency has been something that has helped keep Houston in games. He just can't seem to get any help from his teammates. Altuve has been good too the last couple of weeks and George Springer has come out of the slump he struggled with the first week and half of the season but the trouble is when one hits the others don't. They can't seem to string anything together. The Astros were 208 with RISP last night and that is a recurring theme of this season and actually dates back to the beginning of last September when Houston were playing like they are now--more bad than good. They caught a bit of fire in the playoffs but after the bullpen surrendered a 6-2 in the 8th inning against Kansas City that cost them the game and the series against the eventual World Champs. The offense is just too good to suck this bad for much longer but the question remains is how deep a hole will they dig for themselves before they start to hit. Houston has had games when the starting pitcher gives up 2 or 3 runs and when you do that you should have a reasonable expectation of winning your share of those games. So far Houston can't get it done.

    This sucks but let's look for some silver linings;
    > Altuve has been his usual self pounding out hits, getting the occasional HR and stealing bases. Stealing 3rd is hard as hell to do but he's done it at least 3 times this season that I can remember.
    > Rasmus is 2nd in all of baseball in hitting, HR's, RBI's and, believe it or not, walks. His new approach to his hitting have him on the best streak maybe in his career.
    > Evan Gattis is back and looking like his old self at last. Like last season he started off slow but unlike last year he's not waiting until May to turn things around. Last night he went 2-4 with a K. He is slated to begin working in at catcher and if he continues to hit he could replace a lame duck Jason Castro as the starter.
    > Dallas Keuchel has been good from day one on a frigid day in Yankee Stadium. He was gutted out an opening day win and should have gotten a win in Milwaukee but he didn't get any run support. His third start was another game he didn't get any run support but he pitched a shutout and got the win anyway. His fourth start was just not his night as the Rangers slapped him around like a red-headed step child. He will be looking forward to redeeming himself after that nightmare in Seattle tonight. He is the club stopper. The guy the team will look at to stop the madness of this losing streak.

  10. #40
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    Around bed time I could sense a disturbance in the Force. It was so severe it made me reel for moment. I didn't know what it was until this morning when I saw that the Astros were blown up like the planet Alderaan by the Death Star. The Astros Death Star was the Seattle Mariners who beat the Astros so badly they finished the last inning with a backup catcher pitching for them. Dallas Keuchel, the staff "ace", got roughed up for the second straight outing as Seattle got to him for 5 runs on 5 hits with 2 walks and 5 K's. The killer was the 5th inning. Keuchel was cruising along allowing just one run through 4 innings. A ground ball out to start the 5th followed by a walk, a single and walk that got Keuchel into a jam. The next batter up was Norichika Aoki who grounded to 1B Tyler White who made the force play at the play to save a run and bring the Mariners to 2 outs in the inning. Keuchel could have gotten out of the inning without any damage but it was not to be. Keuchel gave up an RBI single to Ketel Martes and with the bases still loaded Robinson Cano singled to shallow left scoring the man from 3rd. The man on 2nd also came in but Rasmus throw was high and late so the 2nd run scored as the man from 1B advanced to 3rd. Then it got stupid. Jason Castro saw Cano off base and tried to make a play on him and while Houston messed around with Cano the man on 3rd scored giving the Mariners a 5 zip lead. Keuchel retired the next batter but the damage was done and on a night when a little run support would have been nice it never came. Keuchel was his own private Alamo and the offense was Sam Houston who refused to come to his aid. Now, the real life Sam Houston had good reasons why he didn't help the men at the Alamo but there were was no good reason why the Astros offense was a no-show other than they just stink right now. This season is a nightmarish deja vu to those recent 100 loss seasons when Houston didn't pitch, they didn't hit and they didn't do anything right. 2nd year manager AJ Hinch is finding out just how bad a 'sophomore slump' really is and if he can't figure out a way to turn things around he will be unemployed by the All Star break. I guess we shouldn't panic--yet. After all, the Rangers were 7-14 at the end of last April and they came back and won the division. There is still a long way to go but it's really frustrating seeing what a bunch of slugs the Astros are right now. The problem is, nobody gets more than one day off between games. There are no do-overs and there is nobody who will feel sorry for Houston and let them win. They need to right the ship right now.

  11. #41
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    Halleluja! Houston won a game! Sweet! They got out of Seattle with a win and despite Jose Altuve announcing that Houston has officially broken out of their team hitting slump I won't believe it until I see Houston start hitting the ball consistently. Last week the Astros had an 8 run outburst against the Red Sox but they fell right back into the spotty offense, no hitting with RISP mode they have been in. Unlike last Sunday when it was basically the Colby Rasmus show several players including Rasmus contributed offense to the Astros 7-4 win. Jose Altuve led the way going 3-5 with a HR and 2 doubles on the night with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI's. Carlos Correa, whose bat has been disturbingly silent lately got a hit with an RBI and run scored and he also had a walk. Rasmus got an RBI but he also was guilty of yet another bonehead base running play that got him out in a rundown between 3rd and home. Springer is really hitting more consistently lately and he continued that going 2-5 with a run and an RBI. Evan Gattis is hitting his stride and he went 1-3 with 3 RBI's. It was nice to see Houston go 5-10 with RISP for a change.

    Speaking of Gattis he is not waiting until May to start hitting like he did last season when he got booed at the Juice box because he not only didn't have a hit for the first 2-1/2 weeks of the season he struck out nearly every time he was at bat. In his last 3 games he's hit .385 with 4 RBI's as he's gone 5 of 13 in that stretch. Great news if he's hitting too. All we would need next is get Tyler White back on track. He got a day off last night and the Astros are off today so a little breather should be just what the doctor ordered.

    Carlos Gomez was hit in the hand in his second at bat last night and came out of the game. X-rays showed no problem so he will just miss some time to let the swelling and pain go away. Maybe this will help him by breaking his slump. It's a painful way to do it but Gomez is hitting .197 and has really stunk at the plate. The fact is nobody in the back half of the Astros lineup has done squat. Last night Gomez, then Preston Tucker, Marwin Gonzalez, Luis Valbuena and Jason Castro continued the trend of being lousy on offense. Only Castro of the four players got a hit and he's the only one to even draw a walk. It's hard to explain why Valbuena is so bad. Last year he didn't hit for great average (.224) but he hit 25 HR's and 18 doubles and drove in 58 RBI's. If he continues his current track he won't do THAT much.

    I should mention that Collin McHugh got the win last night as he battled through 5 innings and 101 pitches against the Mariners. I began watching the game last night when there were 2 outs in the bottom of the first and the he was facing Robinson Cano. On the 4th pitch of the sequence on a 1-2 count McHugh made a mistake that Cano hit on a line drive to the right field seats to tie the game at 1. I admit, I said, "Here we go." in a way dripping with sarcasm and turned off the tv to go take a shower. I didn't know until this morning that Houston had actually won the game. McHugh is now 2-3, the same as Dallas Keuchel, and he looked a little more in command as he only gave up 2 runs in the 5 innings on 5 hits and a walk with 5 K's.

    AJ Hinch has made a move in the starting rotation. No Lance McCullers isn't back, I wish he was (as long as he's healthy). No, Hinch let Scott Feldman know he was moving him to the bullpen for the Astros series against Oakland this weekend. Feldman is 0-2 so far in 4 starts this season but he hasn't had much run support either. You can pretty much say that for all the starters though. He will be replaced in the starting rotation by Chris Devenski who was called up after Michael Feliz got lit up for 6 runs in 4.1 innings against the Yankees in the 2nd game of the season. Since then Devenski has had 6 relief appearances going 13.2 innings and allowing just 1 run on 11 hits and 1 walk while ;also striking out 12 batters. I think this sends a message to the other starters that if they don't take care of business Hinch has no problem bringing someone up from Fresno. Feldman is taking it well saying he'll support Devo and be ready when he's called upon. Feldman broke into the bigs as a reliever so pitching out of the bullpen is old hat to him.

    After throwing 45 pitches in 3 innings of work in Kissimmee Lance McCullers could be heading for Corpus or Fresno for a real live rehab assignment which would mean it won't be long until he's back with the big club. McCullers has had an issue with pain in his throwing shoulder after pitching since spring training. To their credit they have been quite patient with him allowing his to heal completely before pushing him to the next level. They thought he would be ready early in the season when they sent McCullers on a rehab assignment at Corpus but he again experienced pain so they backed off to allow the shoulder to completely heal. It all depends on how McCullers feels today after yesterday's work that will determine the Astros next move with him.

    Speaking of Feliz, what happened to this guy? He gets bombed for 6 runs in long relief in NY on April and on Tuesday night he gets bombed for 4 runs in just one inning of work. Last season Feliz was brought up and started some games for Houston and he looked pretty good for the most part. In two different stints with the big club this year he's sucked, pure and simple. At AAA, in between stints with the Astros, he hasn't been much better. He started 2 games going 1-0 giving up 9 runs on 8 hits and 7 walks in 8.1 innings pitched. His 9.72 ERA in Fresno is way better than his 15.19 ERA in Houston. He wasn't sent down after his last outing on Tuesday but maybe he should where he would get more work in. It's just this scenario that makes me mad about all the pitching Houston has traded away chasing after guys who are worse than the players we had ( yeah, I mean you Carlos Gomez and Ken Giles). Buyers remorse, indeed.
    Last edited by eagle eye; 04-28-2016 at 11:53 AM.

  12. #42
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    The Astros get an extra day off yesterday and now they head back into action facing AL West rival Oakland over the weekend. Mike Fiers starts tonight and will face the A's #2 prospect LHP Sean Manaea in Oakland.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index..._state=Pregame

    AJ Hinch hopes the day off helps refocus his team as it closes out the 1st month of the season in California. Here's an article from Astros.com that gets Hinch's feelings on how things have gone and how he hopes they go from now on. Mainly, he hopes the Astros need to gel as a team and play smarter baseball. Me too!

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...-back-on-track

  13. #43
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    I'm really tired of reading about the different ways the Astros are finding to lose games. Isn't there a saying that says something about learning from your mistakes. There's another saying that says something about people who don't look at history are doomed to repeat it. The Astros seem to be baseball IQ dumb. Carlos Correa got picked off 1B and Carlos Gomez was cut down trying to stretch a double into the triple in the top of the 9th with the score tied. Did I mention that there were no outs at the time? Given the circumstances why in goodness name would you expect to be content to be in scoring position with nobody out, but no, Gomez tried to stretch it out and was cut down for his trouble. Even though Correa was picked off at first but that isn't the whole story. Correa didn't get put out, he was caught in a rundown and A's 1B Yonder Alonzo threw the ball away allowing Correa to take second. Can you imagine Correa patting himself on the back for being lucky? Then there is the bullpen. Starter Mike Fiers pitched 7 innings and allowed just 2 runs. When he left the game he had a 4-2 lead. In the 8th Ken Giles comes in an promptly blows the lead allowing 2 runs in just 1/3 of an inning. Sheesh. In the ninth Gomez runs himself and the Astros out of a scoring opportunity in the top of the inning and Tony Sipp and Pat Neshak combine to put 2 men on base with 1 out, one on an intentional walk to get to a guy named Yonder Alonzo who was hitting a dangerous .174. Ooops! Alonzo connected with a Pat Neshak sinker and drove a walkoff 3 run home run to win the game. It's enough to make a person start cussing.

    Lance McCullers is going to throw another bullpen session on Monday after feeling no ill effects from his last throwing session on Tuesday. He will be slated to throw 65-70 pitches and he comes through that with no pain in his shoulder his next stop may be a rehab assignment at Corpus or Fresno.

    I can't believe how stupid this team is right now. AJ Hinch really needs to nip this in the bud right now unless it's already too late. The Astros are killing themselves and they are well on their way to another 100 loss season and they are too talented for that. Houston had a real shot at winning 2 games in a row for the first time this season and they blew it. Has there been a bigger waste of money and resources than Ken Giles? Lord, save me from these fools.

  14. #44
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    What the hell are you going to do? Houston got shut out today in Oakland 2-0. Chris Devenski pitched well for his first ever start in the bigs. Certainly better than Oakland's #2 prospect Sean Manaea did on Friday night. Devenski allowed 4 runs on 4 hits, 4 walks and 3 K's in 5 innings of work throwing just 87 pitches. He left the game trailing 4-2. Devenski also went 5 innings throwing 91 pitches as he gave up just 2 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks with 4 K's. Devenski left the game trailing 2-0. If Scott Feldman had come in Friday night Houston would have won by that 4-2 score but his 3 scoreless innings of work today kept Houston in the game to the very end. The table was set for a nice comeback in the 9th as Houston loaded the bases with just one out after George Springer struck out after Jose Altuve began the 9th with a walk. Carlos Correa worked a walk after Springer struck out and Colby Rasmus hit a bloop single to left to load the bases for Evan Gattis. Instead of a game tying base hit Gattis grounded a 1-0 pitch to short for a textbook 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
    Maybe it comes down to the fact that April is a month with an "R" in it. You know how baseball players can be just a tad superstitious, right? April is over now and tomorrow begins a new month. Lord, I hope to goodness May is much better than April was. The scary thing is it could be worse if Houston can't figure out how to play good ball as a team. To say I am disappointed is a complete understatement. This just flat out sucks balls. (Imagine I said that like Eric Cartman, "Kyle, this just sucks balls!) I have to keep reminding myself it's not how you start, it's how you finish but in the past when Houston begins a season like this they never, ever made the playoffs. And here I was thinking they had a shot at the World Series. I appears there is no depth my delusions can't sink to, sheesh.

  15. #45
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    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    The Astros said goodbye to April on Saturday with a whimper much like they played most of the month. The final totals are pretty ugly so brace yourself because the numbers are not what most of us expected prior to April 5th. Even the season itself started out with a miss because opening day was supposed to be April 4th but bad weather in the Big Apple delayed the start of the season.
    The Astros ended April with a record of 7-17. That's a .292 winning percentage and it puts the Astros dead last in the AL West . They haven't won 2 games in a row as yet and they won but one series during the month beating Detroit 2 of 3. The first win on that Friday night in the Juice Box was the last time Dallas Keuchel pitched worth a darn and it was the last time he won. As for the starting pitching only Mike Fiers has a winning record (2-1). 3 of the other starter have identical 2-3 records. Scott Feldman was demoted to the bullpen this past week and Chris Devenski was promoted to the starting rotation making his first ever big league start on Saturday. He did a great job too going 5 innings allowing just two runs. Unfortunately, it was the only 2 runs of the game as Houston fell 2-0 to the A's behind the pitching of Jesse Hahn who was making his first start of 2016. Ironically, Scott Feldman came in a tossed 3 shutout innings in relief of the man who replaced him in the starting rotation. Hahn shut out the 'Stros for 6.2 innings allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks with 4 K's. Houston had no answer for Hahn at all. Actually, Houston had no answer for any of the A's pitchers this past weekend scoring a grand total of 7 runs in the 3 games. The one game Houston had some runs was the 4 runs they scored on Friday night and they took a 4-2 lead into the 8th but Ken Giles, Tony Sipp and Pat Neshak took care of that allowing 5 runs in the last two innings to turn a 4-2 win into a 7-4 loss. That is the microcosm of the month. When they hit the pitching fails, when the pitching falters they can't hit enough to offset the damage the pitchers do and when all else fails Houston is guaranteed to commit a stupid error either in the field or running the bases. The Astros have run the bases like 10 year olds this past month. It's like they don't know what to do out there. In April the Astros baseball IQ was about 63 and, just in case you didn't know it, that is bad. Carlos Gomez got hit in the hand and even though he played in the next game he has missed the rest of the weekend and he's hoping he doesn't go on the DL. Personally, I wish he would just go. Despite all the lousy play and questionable pitching Houston did do something that has never been done before, they won back-to-back-to-back Player of the Week awards. Tyler White, Jose Altuve and Colby Rasmus turned the hat trick to start the season which had never before been done since the POTH award was instituted way back in 1974. Lance McCullers spent the entire month on the DL trying to rehab a right shoulder issue and it looks like there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel as far as his rehab is going.

    May began yesterday and Houston's offensive struggles continued as they could only muster 2 runs for the game. Yesterday 2 runs was enough as Doug Fister had his best outing of the season going 6.2 innings allowing just one run on 7 hits and a walk with 5 K's. Fister improved his record to 2-3 as he flashed the stuff Houston was hoping to get when they signed him to a deal this off season. Between Fister, Tony Sipp, Will Harris and Luke Gregerson the pitching did their job well. Jose Altuve hit his 4th leadoff HR to start a game this season to give Houston an early 1-0 lead. Houston upped the score to 2-0 in the third but it sure could have been much better. The Astros had the bases loaded with one out when Rasmus hit a long fly ball to right scoring Altuve from 3rd. Evan Gattis walked to re-load the bases and Tyler White hit a weak pop-up to 3B to end the inning. On the day Houston was 0-4 with RISP and they stranded 7 base runners. Fister gave up a run in the 7th that ended his day but the bullpen did their job and held the A's scoreless for the final 3-1/3 innings. Houston starts May the same way they started April, with a narrow win over a so-so opponent behind tough starting pitching and just enough hitting and a tough bullpen. The same problems exist though. The pitching has been inconsistent and the offense has been pretty much dormant and they don't play smart baseball. But, a win is a win and they are 1-0 in May with Dallas Keuchel back at the friendly confines of Minute Maid Park. Keuchel (2-3, 4.41 ERA) will be facing a guy, Jose Berrios, who is 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA in his lone start of the season. Tonight's game is the absolute best chance Houston has had to win 2 in a row this season. I always seem to go back to one of the Major League movies and this one is as apt as it gets when talking about the Astros this season. It comes from the Cleveland manager Lou Brown as he addresses he sad sack team in Major League II. Lou says, "OK, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it's called "two in a row". And if we win again tomorrow, it's called a "winning streak"... It has happened before!" The trouble is Lou, it hasn't happened THIS season yet.

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